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The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources Paperback – December 24, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1250023971 ISBN-10: 1250023971 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (December 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250023971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250023971
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A first-rate, well-researched wake-up call."---The Christian Science Monitor

"Outstanding…Exhaustively researched, beautifully written, and convincingly argued."---The Huffington Post

"Stunning."---Rolling Stone

"Reading this book, it’s hard not to think about postapocalyptic fiction….Think Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, and, most recent, Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games. Yet novelists often skip over the messy parts along the road to dystopia. It’s scary to think that Klare, far from crying wolf, might be providing the sordid details in real time."---Science News

"If you think oil is the only major thing we’re running short of, think again.…Crisp, authoritative…A guidebook to wars to come."---Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost

About the Author

Michael T. Klare is the author of fourteen books, including Resource Wars and Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. A contributor to Current History, Foreign Affairs, and the Los Angeles Times, he is the defense correspondent for The Nation and the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

This book is concise and full of facts.
Christopher Keller
This book is about the actions powerful economic forces are doing to get the necessary supplies to keep the industrial age going.
By then onshore and shallow-water oil wells will be in decline, so deepwater oil will be quite important.
Alice Friedemann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Robert S Bogner on March 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well worth your time and money. Michael Klare clearly describes hhow the earth's ever decreasing non-renewable resources , combined with the ever increasing demand for them, will contribute to an expensive and frantic "Race for What's Left." He exapnds on three components of this race; energy,minerals,and agriculture (the section concerning agriculture is especially absorbing). He then describes how this may eventually lead to armed conflicts, and will eventually lead to the switch to renewables.
The book is written in a rather easy to read textbook style, and very clealy depicts the necessary projections from our current dependance on non-renewable resources.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cecil Bothwell VINE VOICE on January 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
The information conveyed in Michael T. Klare's latest book is important, even critical to our common future. We're between a hard place and a rock, and the rock doesn't contain enough useful minerals or topsoil to save our bacon. Klare's work can be viewed as a useful resource for policy makers and industrialists who might want an overview of the problems we face.

That said, the book feels padded out, like a great idea for a longish think-piece in a serious magazine that was bulked up to make a book. Weary of the repetition, I began to skim the last half, reading intros and conclusions to chapters rather than spending my time wading through the jetsam.

I get it already. There are too many people on board this little planet, and all of them want to live like Americans. It won't work, long term. Famine is extremely likely. War is probable. The next half century is going to be difficult at best, tear-inducing in many ways, and utterly miserable for the poorest billion or so.

As Aimee Mann sang it (in a different context) "That's how I knew this story would break my heart."
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69 of 82 people found the following review helpful By StillLearning on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to reading this book. When I got it, I found it very disappointing. There are two problems that I have with this book. The first is the style that it is written in, the second is the coverage and structure.

I found the style too anecdotal. I would have preferred something more academic. I felt as if I was wading through a lot of gumpf, before I got to any facts. The second issue here is that it focuses on narrow examples, rather than giving you an overview. I don't want to read a great detail about Gabon before I see Africa addressed as a continent for example. I find the style similar to CNN stlye reportage; high on emotive topics and narrow perspective, low on facts. It reads as if the author has an agenda and points to examples to prove his case. I would prefer a presentation of the facts rather than to be told what I should think. It feels as if I am reading propaganda despite the seriousness of the issues.

As for structure, I would have preferred to see the book start with some kind of historical perspective, talking about Limits of Growth etc, before then going on to explain the geopolitical context (such as Zbigniew Brzezinski's the Grand Chessboard). That is, the current economic situation in the US and Europe vs BRIC etc, the US objectives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and so on. We get none of this. All in all the coverage seems patchy, with too much time spent on some areas not enough on others. Flicking through the chapters I expected to see one entitled "Water Security", but nothing.

Instead of this, the book starts with the story of a Russian submarine captain planting a flag on the floor of the arctic. Flicking through the chapters reveals a similar anecdote at the start of each chapter.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Zielinski on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The prolific Michael Klare has produced another book -- "The Race for What's Left" -- addressing the dangers we will face in the coming years, dangers which express our strong dependence on the earth and its material abundance along with our inability to create global political institutions which secure peace and prosperity. It is worthy read as are Klare's previous books on this subject. In his latest, he addresses a few simple theses:

1. The demand for natural resources will continue to grow
2. The supply of these resources will continue to shrink
3. The search for new sources of hydrocarbons, common and uncommon minerals, water and arable land will intensify over time and likely will generate resources wars.

In a nutshell, we are now passing from an "easy-resource world" to a "hard-resource world." This claim encapsulates a few disturbing facts: Existing oil wells no longer produce at the rate they once had and once productive mines have become stingy. These key resources have peaked or will peak soon, and this fact will drive commerce in the future. More importantly, fallow and potentially productive farm land has become scarce in various locales due to overuse, desertification, urbanization and other destructive forms of consumption. We can expect food shortages to intensify as time passes. Furthermore, increasing demand will augment this `natural' scarcity. Brazil, Russia, India and China are industrializing (or reindustrializing in Russia's case). Other countries have also taken off. Many are trying to develop their productive capacity and their natural resources. The industries in many of these countries are now competitive in the global market and will consume a growing share of the planet's raw goods.
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